A global study by the IBM Institute for Business Value found that over half of Singapore CEOs surveyed identify technology modernization as their highest business priority.
Customer experience remains key to achieving their organizations’ goals, ranking as the second highest priority,followed by productivity, – ranked first globally – as CEOs looks to drive organizational performance. Yet, CEOs can face key barriers as they race to modernize and adopt new technologies like generative AI.
The annual CEO study, CEO decision-making in the age of AI, Act with intention, which incorporates a survey of 200 U.S. CEOs from multinational corporations on their response to generative AI, found three-quarters of CEO respondents believe that competitive advantage will depend on who has the most advanced generative AI.
However, executives are also weighing potential risks or barriers of the technology such as bias, ethics and security. More than half (57%) of CEOs surveyed are concerned about data security and 48% worry about bias or data accuracy.
There is also a disconnect between CEOs and their teams when it comes to AI readiness. Half (50%) of CEOs surveyed report they are already integrating generative AI into products and services, and 43% say they are using generative AI to inform strategic decisions.
Yet, just 29% of their executive teams agree they have the in-house expertise to adopt generative AI; only 30% of non-CEO senior executives surveyed say that their organization is ready to adopt generative AI responsibly.
“It has been challenging for AI to scale and operationalize, but generative AI that leverages powerful foundation models changes that dynamic,” said Colin Tan, General Manager and Technology Leader of IBM Singapore.
“This opens up new opportunities that businesses can derive from AI, from boosting productivity, creating exceptional customer care, accelerating intelligent workflows, to spur transformation and growth. CEOs also must ensure AI is explainable, fair, robust, transparent and protects consumer data and privacy.”
Key study findings include:
Singapore CEOs say technology modernisation is a pressing priority and key to help deliver productivity and customer experience
- 58% of Singapore CEOs surveyed pinpoint technology modernization as a top priority for their organization; enhancing customer experience follows as their second highest priority (51%) while productivity ranks third (44%). In contrast, global CEOs indicated productivity represirented the highest priority – ahead of technology modernisation and customer experience.
- For the fourth consecutive year, Singapore CEOs surveyed say technology factors remain the top external force impacting their organization over the next three years – in line with their global counterparts.
Singapore CEOs are increasingly looking toward operational, technology and data leaders as strategic decision makers
Additional data gathered during the survey indicates the following:
- When asked which C-Suite members will make the most crucial decisions over the next three years, Singapore CEO respondents identified COOs (58%) and CFOs (57%), echoing global responses.
- The influence of technology leaders on decision making is growing – 38% of surveyed Singapore CEOs point to CIOs, followed by Chief Technology or Chief Digital Officer as making the most crucial decisions in their organization.
U.S. CEOs indicate they are ready to adopt generative AI, but other executives have reservations
- Three out of four (75%) CEOs surveyed believe the organization with the most advanced generative AI will have competitive advantage.
- Half (50%) of CEOs report they are already integrating generative AI into products and services; 43% say they are using generative AI to inform strategic decisions, with 36% using the technology for operational decisions.
- While 69% of CEO respondents see broad benefits of generative AI across their organization, just 29% of their executive teams agree they have the in-house expertise to adopt generative AI.
- Only 30% of non-CEO senior executives surveyed say that their organization is ready to adopt generative AI responsibly.
Generative AI is fueling workforce changes, but broader assessments of its impact on the workforce are lagging
- About 43% of surveyed U.S. CEOs say they have reduced or redeployed their workforce due to generative AI, with an additional 28% indicating they plan to do so in the next 12 months.
- At the same time, 46% of U.S. CEOs surveyed have hired additional workers because of generative AI, with 26% saying they have plans for more hiring ahead.
- Yet, fewer than one in three U.S. CEOs (28%) surveyed have assessed the potential impact of generative AI on their workforces, and 36% say they plan to do so in the next 12 months.